Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is facing backlash as it shuts down popular virtual reality games without providing any explanation to its users. Games like Dead and Buried, Dead and Buried II, and Bogo, which were enjoyed by many on the Rift or Quest headsets, have been suddenly discontinued, similar to what happened with Echo VR.
An email received by users states, “We are reaching out to let you know that Dead and Buried will no longer be supported as of Friday, March 15, 2024. You can continue to hunt ghosts and other creatures in Dead and Buried on your Rift, Rift S, or Quest (via link) devices until 11:59 PM PT on that date.” This sudden end to support and availability of the game has left players confused and disappointed.
Reports from UploadVR and Road to VR confirm that owners of Dead and Buried II and Bogo also received similar shutdown messages, with the same end date of March 15th. The lack of explanation in these messages exacerbates the frustration felt by the community. It seems that Meta has not learned from the previous controversy with Echo Arena, where Meta’s Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Bosworth, had to provide an explanation after the fact.
What adds to the confusion is that Bogo, a virtual pet simulator, doesn’t even require online servers to operate. It raises the question of why Meta would completely remove the game from users’ access when it could simply mark it as incompatible with newer headsets. The decision to shut down Bogo, a single-player experience, seems unnecessary and unfair to its loyal players.
Another concern is addressed with Dead and Buried II, which was a $20 game. Users wonder if they will receive any sort of consideration or refund for their purchase. The original Dead and Buried was even given for free with Oculus Touch controllers and some headsets. It is unclear if Meta will compensate players for their investment in these games.
The lack of explanations and consideration for users raises concerns about the future of Meta’s VR platform. It creates doubt in the minds of players about investing in games and experiences that may be abruptly discontinued without warning. This sudden shutdown also highlights the issue of ownership in the digital realm, where users do not have full control over the products they purchase or the ability to continue enjoying them in the long term.
It is crucial for Meta to address these concerns and provide a detailed explanation for the discontinuation of these games. Transparency and open communication with its user base are essential to maintain trust and loyalty. Furthermore, offering some form of compensation or alternatives for the affected players would demonstrate that Meta values its customers and understands the impact of its decisions on the VR community.
As the virtual reality market continues to grow, it is important for tech companies like Meta to prioritize the interests and satisfaction of their users. Discontinuing games without proper communication or support can lead to a loss of trust and tarnish the overall VR experience. Meta must learn from these missteps and work towards building a more user-centric and sustainable VR ecosystem.